UFC 228 Results: The Real Winners and Losers

Scott Harris@ScottHarrisMMAMMA Lead WriterSeptember 9, 2018

UFC 228 Results: The Real Winners and Losers

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    Tyron Woodley
    Tyron WoodleyJeffrey McWhorter/Associated Press

    When the main event of UFC 228 began in Dallas, it was a toss-up in the minds of many oddsmakers.

    According to OddsShark, Darren Till was the slimmest of favorites to dethrone welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. It was an interesting clash of styles, with Woodley's grind-heavy approach standing in contrast to Till's action-slugging.

    Welterweight is suddenly a hot bit of real estate, with Woodley, Till, Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington all possessing substantial resumes and public followings. Saturday's winner was well-positioned for some high-wattage fights soon.

    That's more than can be said for the women's flyweight division. Unfortunately, champion Nicco Montano was forced to go to the hospital during her weight cut and subsequently dropped from the card. The UFC then stripped her of her title. Strawweights Jessica Andrade and Karolina Kowalkiewicz moved up to the replacement co-main event, but the card still found itself down one title fight.

    Those were the top two bouts on the 13-fight slate. As always, there were memorable moments across the card, and the final stat lines only reveal so much. These are the real winners and losers of UFC 228. 

    For the literal-minded among us, full results appear at the end. 

Winner: Tyron Woodley

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    Tyron Woodley (top) and Darren Till
    Tyron Woodley (top) and Darren TillRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    Tyron Woodley is one of the best welterweights in history, and Saturday he added a line item to his resume when he got his first submission in the UFC Octagon (12 bouts).

    The end came in the second round when the champ slipped a punch from Darren Till then landed a crushing right hand that dropped the challenger. From there, Woodley went to work on the ground, ultimately latching on a D'Arce choke that Till didn't see coming. Woodley cranked, and Till tapped.

    The win made Woodley the active UFC champion with the most title defenses (four). It also helped dispel the criticism that Woodley is an overly conservative fighter who can't put opponents away, even when said opponents are overmatched.

    So this win had to be sweet. It became sweeter when Woodley's coach, Din Thomas, awarded an emotional Woodley his jiu-jitsu black belt after the win. That was a cool moment.

    Speaking with broadcaster Joe Rogan following the fight, Woodley said he had no specific challenger in mind. I have one. It has to be interim champ Colby Covington—and UFC President Dana White agrees

Loser: Knees

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    Zabit Magomedsharipov (bottom) pulls off an incredible kneebar on Brandon Davis.
    Zabit Magomedsharipov (bottom) pulls off an incredible kneebar on Brandon Davis.Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    There were plenty of memorable moments at UFC 228. The cream of the crop were two mind-bending kneebar submissions.

    The first came on the undercard when Aljamain Sterling, the Long Island wrestler long known for his anaconda-like submission grappling, was on Cody Stamann's back, then reached down, grabbed Stamann's leg at the ankle and used gravity and natural momentum to crank his knee as they fell to the canvas, causing a sudden but nauseating submission.

    Not to be outdone, everyone's favorite Dagestani, Zabit Magomedsharipov, pulled out a gruesome submission when he fully extended Brandon Davis' leg over his own body. Imagine having your foot stretched back past your head. It's not the kind of sensation you want to experience. Davis tapped—on his own leg—to give Magomedsharipov another feather in his featherweight cap.

    It was great viewing for all involved—unless you were a knee. In that case, you didn't like it.

Winner: Jessica Andrade

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    Jessica Andrade (right) punches Karolina Kowalkiewicz
    Jessica Andrade (right) punches Karolina KowalkiewiczRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    You don't see a lot of one-shot knockouts on the women's side. Jessica Andrade gave us one when she melted Karolina Kowalkiewicz in the co-main event.

    As usual, Andrade carried the vale tudo spirit into the cage and swarmed her opponent from the opening moment. Kowalkiewicz was rocked and flustered at first but regained her composure as the round went on. But Andrade was more composed and more determined to finish the job.

    Andrade has volume and power, and she laced a crushing right hand through Kowalkiewicz's defenses. The Pole fell back and was out before she hit the ground. 

    Andrade has earned a title shot with strawweight beltholder Rose Namajunas. With three straight wins over Claudia Gadelha, Tecia Torres and now Kowalkiewicz, Andrade is a formidable challenge for anyone, including the champ.

Loser: John Dodson

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    John Dodson (left) and Jimmie Rivera
    John Dodson (left) and Jimmie RiveraJosh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    John Dodson is trending in the wrong direction.

    After dropping an uneventful decision to Jimmie Rivera on Saturday, Dodson has alternated wins and losses in his last seven contests. Even more problematic is his familiar fighting style, which is moving from signature to stagnant.

    The left hand is dangerous. Dodson uses the jab to feel out his opponent from the outside, then fires the left. He also looks for the high kick. Lather, rinse, repeat. On Saturday, Rivera moved forward and outpointed Dodson with combinations and kicks. 

    It's becoming predictable and less imposing as the 33-year-old Dodson ages and his speed and power continue to wane. 

    Is he still a viable bantamweight? Eh, sure, why not. But this loss to Rivera didn't exactly boost his stock.

Winner: Abdul Razak Alhassan

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    Abdul Razak Alhassan (right) knocks out Niko Price
    Abdul Razak Alhassan (right) knocks out Niko PriceRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    Abdul Razak Alhassan is now 10-1 overall and 4-1 in the UFC. All of the wins are by knockout, including his first-round flattening Saturday of fellow headhunter Niko Price.

    It only took 43 seconds to establish Alhassan as probably the most formidable pure knockout striker in today's welterweight division. 

    Remember Price's unreal hammerfist knockout in his last outing? The energy of that highlight transferred to Alhassan when the energy of Alhassan's hands transferred into Price's body. 

    It was a merciless barrage that saw Alhassan recover from an early Price shot, punish Price to the body and then close the curtain with a brutal left.

    The UFC needs all the action fighters it can get. The welterweight division, with historical lions like Robbie Lawler and Donald Cerrone starting to fade, needs fresh blood. Alhassan can supply both.

Winner: Tatiana Suarez

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    Tatiana Suarez (top) takes down Carla Esparza
    Tatiana Suarez (top) takes down Carla EsparzaJosh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    Tatiana Suarez began the night ranked No. 9 on the UFC women's strawweight rankings

    You have to imagine she'll move a good deal higher after its end.

    Suarez used her four-inch height advantage and superior wrestling skills to overwhelm and pound out former champion and No. 6 strawweight Carla Esparza. 

    Credit Esparza for not folding up the tent, but Suarez put it on her. According to the UFC broadcast team, Suarez landed eight takedowns during the contest. Her top control was pure suffocation, and it led to sustained ground punishment. Esparza had some funky hematomas going by the end.

    In the fight's waning moments, a game Esparza seemed to finally lose steam, and Suarez forced a third-round stoppage with brutal shots to the face. It came with just 27 seconds remaining, and it moved the 27-year-old to 7-0 and 4-0 in the UFC. 

    Joanna Jedrzejczyk could be a good next opponent. So could Claudia Gadelha or a host of others. But if you're asking who's next, the real answer is Suarez. 

Loser: Frank Camacho's Skull

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    Geoff Neal (left) kicks Frank Camacho
    Geoff Neal (left) kicks Frank CamachoRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    Ladies and gentlemen, Geoff Neal.

    Neal didn't have a terribly high profile outside of viewers of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series, where Neal did enough damage to earn a UFC contract.

    In front of a hometown crowd, Neal took advantage of the situation, displaying gorgeous, devastating strikes to put away the notoriously tough Frank Camacho with a second-round knockout.

    Efficient punch combinations nearly put Camacho to sleep in the first. He was saved by the bell, but Neal ultimately made him pay all the same. Neal feinted up, then fired a kick that slammed his shin across Camacho's skull.

    Credit Camacho for staying upright, but he took a ridiculous amount of damage in the loss. Meanwhile, forget Tuesday nights. Neal made quite a name for himself Saturday, and here's guessing he'll have plenty more opportunities to do so in this enlivened welterweight division.

Winner: Jim Miller

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    Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    Lyme disease, four straight losses, Alex White. None of those things could stop Jim Miller on Saturday night.

    Miller made a bit of history just by stepping in, as he became the first competitor to notch 30 UFC fights in his career. But Miller needed more than that. He needed a win, and he found one against the younger, larger White, who had a four-inch height advantage.

    It didn't take long for the 35-year-old Miller to find a home for his left hand, landing two in a row that rocked and then dropped White, 29. After a scramble on the ground—Miller is pretty good at those—the veteran slipped an arm under White's neck and squeezed a rear-naked choke.

    As White tapped, blood shot from his nose under the pressure of the choke. It was a little like watching a juicing. A human juicing. 

    As Miller noted in his post-fight speech, he has had Lyme disease for years. As one might expect, it has interfered with his training. Here's hoping Miller is back on track. This win showed that could well be the case.

UFC 228 Full Card Results

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    Diego Sanchez defeated Craig White by unanimous decision
    Diego Sanchez defeated Craig White by unanimous decisionJosh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

    Main Card

    Tyron Woodley def. Darren Till by submission (D'Arce choke), 4:19, Rd. 2 (retains UFC welterweight championship)

    Jessica Andrade def. Karolina Kowalkiewicz by KO, 1:58, Rd. 1

    Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Brandon Davis by submission (kneebar)

    Jimmie Rivera def. John Dodson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

    Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Niko Price by KO, 0:43, Rd. 1

                  

    Preliminary Card

    Tatiana Suarez def. Carla Esparza by TKO, 4:33, Rd. 3

    Aljamain Sterling def. Cody Stamann by submission (kneebar), 3:42, Rd. 2

    Geoff Neal def. Frank Camacho by KO, 1:23, Rd. 2

    Darren Stewart def. Charles Byrd by TKO, 2:17, Rd. 2

    Diego Sanchez def. Craig White by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

    Jim Miller def. Alex White by submission (rear-naked choke), 1:29, Rd. 1

    Irene Aldana def. Lucie Pudilova by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

    Jarred Brooks def. Roberto Sanchez by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

                

    Scott Harris covers MMA for Bleacher Report. For more, follow Scott on Twitter

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